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Bob Dylan in the Alley: The Alan J. Weberman Story

Page 9 of 9

I do, man, my button, that's my badge. Like, that's really not true, man, and I'm not gonna take it seriously comin' from you.
Well you . . .

Comin' from somebody who wrote, that writes songs like you write, man.
Hey, man, who writes better songs than I do. Name me somebody.

I can name you a hundred fuckin' people.
Oh come on. You can't, you know you can't.

Ah, let's see. Creedence Clearwater.
Oh bullshit.

Gordon Lightfoot ain't bad.
Yeah, he's fine.

He writes good, he writes good songs. Let me see, there's some cat, who uses a very, very, a lot of imagery just like 'Tarantula' — ah, Barbara Keefe.
Uh.

Ah . . . Ken Lauber.
Oh, he's alright. Yeah, he's very good.

Jack Elliot.
Jack doesn't write songs.

John Lennon.
He's improving.

George Harrison.
Hmmmm ... Sure.

Jim McGuinn.
What????

Procol Harum, Keith Reid what's his name.
Yeah, well, they're swell.

How 'bout Grace Slick? Too political?
I don't know, does she write stuff?

Sure. Too political, though.
Probably, if you say.

You're . . . you're fuckin' irrational. Nothin' is gonna happen to you if you speak out, man, you know. Nothin' is gonna happen to you.
OK, dig, I got to go.

OK.
Did we get it straightened out about the interview, or the article?

I'll change all the stuff you want me to change and then I'll mail it out.
Could I see it after you make the corrections?

Anytime that's convenient for you.
OK, could you bring it by?

I'm gonna pick up some buttons on Monday.
Oh yeah.

I'm gettin' some buttons printed up.
Oh ho . . . what does it say on the buttons?

Free Bob Dylan.
That's far out, man.

DLF.
I'm havin' some made up for you too, man.

What, Free AJ Weberman?
No.

A.J.'s a pig?
A.J. the pig, right.

Well, you know.
Or it'll just have PIG with a picture of you on it.

[Laughs] Where will you get the picture of me?
We're gonna take it off an underground newspaper.

Well, you don't have my permission to use that picture.
It's OK, man, you'll live through it.

You don't have my permission to use that picture.
You don't have my permission to do any of this shit, man.

Ah . . . I don't. Holy shit, what am I gonna do? I gotta fuckin' take my bank account out and put in a safe deposit box in case I get sued?
Naah, you won't get sued, but ah . . . you'll live through it, I'm sure you're gonna live through all of it.

Oh, I hope so, man.
Yeah, you will, it won't be nothin', it'll be good for you, man, it'll be good for you.

What will be good for me?
Having your picture with pig written on it.

I'm not a pig, man, I don't see how you can fuckin' call me a pig.
Come on, don't give me that.

I fuckin' fight, man.
You fight to go through my garbage.

I fight pigs. Yeah, but a lot of people think that you've become a pig, man.
So?

In a certain position, man, in a certain position, you know, I could do a number on a cat, you know, who's become a pig, man, who's become a fuckin' sell-out, you dig. You just, it just, you know, that's the way it goes, man, you write all these songs, some jerk is gonna fuckin' believe 'em, man . . .
Oh c'mon . . .

. . . and he's gonna get pissed off when he finds out that you didn't believe 'em, or you don't believe 'em any more.
I believe 'em.

You know, you know, like . . .
See you later, man.

OK, so long.

* * *

There seemed something very final about his farewell to Weberman. And though one can never tell for sure with Bob Dylan, one got the feeling that his slumming with America's First and Foremost Dylanologist was a thing of the past. Dylan was often impatient, but most of all bored with Weberman. There wouldn't be much basis for a future relationship.

But A. J., undaunted, saw the whole conversation as a great victory for himself. He seemed oblivious to Bob's irritation with him. Faster than Captain America, he is now making plans for infecting the soul of his idol — with or without Dylan's cooperation. Those "Free Bob Dylan — DLF!" buttons were printed. They're all over New York these days.

Lately, our hero has been walking around Fun City with expanded plans for interpretations and action against rock stars. Something called the Rock Liberation Front is in the works over at the Dylan Archives. "I've been thinking of getting into Creedence Clearwater, John Lennon, James Taylor and Gordon Lightfoot . . . to name a few. I only interpret the biggest artists, man. The important ones."

Er, ah, watch your garbage cans, gents.

This story is from the March 4th, 1971 issue of Rolling Stone.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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